Wonder Where

by papatoad

Tags: Ma/Fa, Cheating, Slow, Violent,

Desc: : A Jake Rivers Invitational Story He tried in vain to stop her cheating, until she pushed him too far.

Thanks to the knee doctor for editing assistance

A Jake Rivers Invitational entry.

Note from Jake Rivers:

This is my fifth semi-annual "invitational." The initial one was based on the Statler Brother's song, "This Bed of Rose's." The second used the Marty Robbins El Paso trilogy: "El Paso" "El Paso City " and "Faleena." The third had stories based on the various versions of "Maggie May" or "Maggie Mae." The fourth invitational was based on any Country & Western song.

The current invitational is based on any song written or performed by Merle Haggard.

Regards, Jake


(Merle Haggard)

I wonder if I'll find you in some honky tonkin' bar

I wonder if I'll find the hidden place you parked the car

I wonder if I'll find you holdin' someone tight

Oh I wonder where I'll find you at tonight

I saw a family friend of ours a gal named Martha Lou

She aloud to save my feelings wouldn't tell me what she knew

And there's got to be a reason why you're stayin' out of sight

Oh I wonder where I'll find you at tonight

Walking's not the fastest way I know to make a town

But I can't afford no taxi driver drivin' me around

And now I'm slowly walking toward another neon light

Oh I wonder where I'll find you at tonight

It's almost closin' time and there's one honky tonk to go

Been checking out Joe's Coffee Shops the only place I know

If I had some clue to follow or just a guiding light

Oh I wonder where I'll find you at tonight

I wonder where I'll find you at tonight

It always seemed to take longer to get to the top. It was hard to tell if the guys were looking forward to the night off, or just pissed off that they lost two hours. Two hours into a twelve-hour shift and the methane alarm goes off. I still had the four sticks and their caps in the yellow bag hanging from my shoulder. There wouldn't be any blasting done tonight, and now I was stuck with the bag again. The magazine, where they kept the dynamite under lock and key, stayed open just long enough for the dogwatch to check out their daily ration. I would be taking the yellow satchel home with me again. It was a pain in the butt, but the pay differential made up for the inconvenience.

I grabbed my Carhartt from the locker and started out the door. I could make out the gray clouds rolling in over the mountains to the east. By the time I got across the parking lot, Marty had the truck warmed up and ready to go.

"Damn it, Travis. I don't understand why you can't get a beat up old truck so you'd at least have something to drive?"

"You know I can't afford it. Just making the payments on Donna's Mustang keeps me in the poor house. It ain't easy to feed three kids and a have a high maintenance wife."

"You are the most pussy-whipped guy I know. She's been wrapping you around her finger since grade school."

Marty was right. Donna latched on to me when we were both kids. She was pushy and bossy, but the prettiest little girl in the whole county. I put up with all her crap just to be with her. Somehow or other, it got out of hand.

We were barely out of the lot when the rain started coming steady. It was a dark, cold rain. You could tell it was going to last most of the night. The only good thing rain did, as far as I was concerned, was to wash the coal dust off the world. Of course, the farmers thought otherwise. The wipers on Marty's old F100 were slapping heavy and leaving big streaks across the windshield. The crack on the passenger's side started leaking on to the dash, like it always did. Yeah. That's just what I needed, a beat up old truck.

It was only fifteen minutes to the trailer park. The whole place turned to mud when it rained. It would have been nice if they at least put down some gravel once in a while. All we needed was a down payment to get out. The trouble was, every time I saved a little, Donna found something to spend it on.

"I'll pick you up tomorrow, same time."

"Thanks Marty." Marty and I grew up together. Neither one of us planned to work the mines, but that's how it ended up. He was going to join the Air Force, but they wouldn't take him without a high school diploma. I wanted to become a certified auto mechanic of some type. That didn't work out either.

"Hey Travis. Where is the Mustang?"

It's hard to miss seeing a bright yellow car, except when it is not there. I just shrugged and walked into the double wide as he pulled out.

My three boys were all sitting on the floor in front of the TV when I walked in.

"Where is your mother?"

Todd, the eight year old, just looked at me and shrugged.

"When did she leave?"

"About ten minutes after you left for work."

I got the distinct feeling I was interfering with their television watching.

"What did she have on?"

"Her red dress." One thing I knew for sure is that she didn't wear that dress to go to the supermarket. It was low cut and came above her knees. I will say that she looked good in that red dress.

I put my crib can in the refrigerator. It would still be good tomorrow. "Did your mother feed you before she left?"

Todd was the only one responding to my questions. "No. I fixed supper."

"What did you guys have?"

"Cocoa Puffs."

The three of them seemed transfixed to the boob tube. It was obvious that I was an unwelcome distraction. As far as I was concerned, Todd was not old enough to be watching himself, let alone his younger brothers. Terry was six and Shawn was going on three.

"Todd if you get a chance, put a clean pair of pants on Shawn. It's pretty clear that he pissed himself." I had a hard time believing that a three year old was not potty-trained yet. Donna was the type of mother that felt kids should raise themselves.

I grabbed a quick beer and took a leak. It was raining like hell outside, but I had an uncontrollable urge to go find my wife. I wondered where I'd find her at tonight? Everything was fine up until about four years ago. Donna started going out with her friend, Martha Lou. At first it was only once a week, while I stayed with the two boys. It slowed down some, while she was pregnant with Shawn, but after he was born she started up again. When I went on the night shift at the mines, she would get a sitter while I was working. About six months ago, she started leaving them alone.

Marty was right about one thing, I was pussy whipped. The entire time I was with Donna, I let her call the shots. She always made the decisions as to what we would do and where we would go. I really had no say-so about anything. She was so exciting to be with, that I would endure anything to make her happy. I guess that was my problem. The best thing about our relationship was the sex. I got more sex than any other guy I knew, and it was good sex.

In all fairness to myself, I did make an attempt to curtail her extracurricular activities but I failed miserably. Donna's daddy was a deputy sheriff when we got married, and shortly after that he was elected to the position as county sheriff. He never liked me. He let me know in no uncertain terms, that I was not good enough for his only child. I realize now, that he was right. I could not provide for her in the manner that she required

One night, before she got pregnant with Shawn, I went to one of the local honky tonks and attempted to force Donna to come home with me. I was not quiet about it. Her father showed up in less than ten minutes. Donna's dad was a big man and he was belligerent as hell. He slammed me up against the wall in the middle of the bar and informed me in front of a hundred people that if I ever touched his daughter again he would beat the living shit out of me. Donna was able to calm him down, and she did leave with me. That was the last time we ever had a discussion about her running around. After Shawn was born, she seemed to enjoy doing it, just to irritate me. A famous man once said, "All men live lives of quiet desperation." I don't know who he was, but he was one smart dude.

I looked at my three boys on the floor and decided I didn't want to do this anymore. It was still raining.

"Momma. It's Travis. I need you to do a favor for me." My mother and I were always on good terms, except when it came to Donna. She had a sixth sense about her, and never really warmed up to my wife. Donna was smart and pretty, but momma felt she was a sneak and not to be trusted. Looks like she was right also. Everybody was right, except Travis.

"Why aren't you at work boy? How do you expect to feed those three youngins, if you are taking off work?"

"Didn't take off. They shut down again because of the bottom gas. I need you and dad to come over and pick up the kids. I have to go out for a while and don't want to leave them alone."

"Where is your loving wife, boy?"

"I'm not sure."

There was a pause at the other end of the line. "You do what you have to do son. You know that your daddy and I will always back you up."

"Thanks momma." It's good sometimes to have family.

Donna had a cell phone, but I decided not to call her.

The boys were still glued to the television as I put my Carhartt back on and picked up the yellow satchel. I slid an old army surplus poncho over my head and stepped out into the rain. My sons never seemed to notice my leaving. Now I wished I had the old truck Marty was joking about.

It was less than a half-mile from the trailer park to the main street. Once I was on the asphalt the walking got easier. It didn't take long for the rain to make me feel worse than I was. The poncho only came down to my knees, so my Levi's were soaked in the first ten minutes. For some reason, my left sock was wet. I made a mental note to waterproof my boots again, when I had the time. The poncho was keeping my head dry, but the rain was blowing into my face. Every few minutes, I had to wipe away the water just to see.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Cheating / Slow / Violent /